Unless it’s a really hot day the thought of having a cold shower is terrifying but surprisingly, there are numerous health benefits of taking cold showers.
Improves Immune System
There are countless studies that prove, cold exposure improves your immunity.
Cold water immersion has been shown to increase metabolic rates due to shivering and activating the immune system. Those that participated in 6 weeks of immersions showed a an increase in the plasma concentrations as well as T helper cells and lymphocytes.
In Sweden, it’s common practice to let small babies take naps outdoors in the cold. They’ve not only shown to be more resistant to diseases, but they also seem to sleep deeper and more soundly.
In Siberia, they take it a step further and dump a whole bucket of cold water over their heads, in a ritual called Rodnichok or cold springs. They do this year round for ages 2-6. Again, this is in Siberia. Those kids are tough. It’s shown that about 95% of the kids who participate in this are healthy through the flu season as opposed to 75% of the those children in groups that don’t.
When your body is exposed to cold, it requires more heat to warm you up. To do so, it has to process more energy and in doing so helps you burn more fat, more efficiently. It can also activate “brown fat”, which is a sort of good fat that helps generate heat, increase your metabolism and burn fat.
Since cold exposure causes your blood flow to be redirected to your vital organs, it forces your body to circulate your blood more efficiently & effectively.
Regular cold showers help limit heat loss, decrease core body temperature and regulate overall body temperature.
Cold showers have been shown to help relieve depression symptoms. Due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.
So if you need a pick-me-up, jump in the shower and turn it on cold.
Keeps Skin & Hair Healthy
Cold water helps “close” pores. This keeps your skin looking smooth and healthy while not drying your skin out as hot water showers can sometimes do. The cold water will help keep your hair look shiny and keep your skin soft, rather than itchy, ashy and dried out.
A 1993 study done by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England showed cold baths to be correlated with high testosterone levels. After spending 5-10 minutes in the freezing cold water, you’ll feel like more of a man.
As you can imagine, an increase in testosterone can lead to an increase in fertility. Hot showers have also been known to drastically decrease sperm count.
So, if you’re looking to pop out a few mini-me and want to give your little swimmers a fighting chance, make sure to turn your water to cold.
Besides the fact, that there’s nothing quite like ice cold water to wake you up, cold showers can also increase energy. The nerve endings on your skin will stand up due to the ice world you just entered, your heart will speed up and you will breath more rapidly as your body starts to adjust.
That’s a response that the best cup of coffee in the world can’t match.
The lymphatic system takes waste away from your cells to help fight disease. It’s separate from your blood vessels, but is moved around by the contraction of your muscles. Cold showers cause your entire body to contract and forces the lymphatic system to push the lymph fluids throughout your body rather than pooling in one place as it would if it were compromised or inefficient.
Ice baths have long been used by elite athletes to help decrease inflammation after a workout. It can help to alleviate DOMS by constricting the veins throughout your body and thereby removing toxins in your blood. When you get out, your system is flushed with fresh, nutrient-rich blood that can help repair muscles & tendons.
Cold showers can force you to breathe deeper by forcing a momentarily pause, this is an automatic reflex when the cold water hits your body. It helps open up the lungs (similar to doing physical exercise) and helps bring in more oxygen.
Remember the sleeping babies from earlier? Well, they’re not the only ones sleeping better at night thanks to the cold. Insomniacs are recommended to take cold showers to help aid sleep. It might be because the feeling you get after the initial shock of the shower helps your body calm down & relax.
Tolerance To Stress
In general, cold exposure gives your body a higher tolerance to stress by purposely exposing it to stress. Over time, this leads to strengthening and hardening of your body and your immune system.
Cold showers have also been used to reduce chronic pain, reduce body aches, improve hair health, kidney function, reduce inflammation and regulate nervous system. Deepen your breathing and help fight fatigue and improve quality of sleep.
Will you be trying cold showers now?
Source: Impossible HQ